Scents beyond conventional perfumery

There is a long lasting history of dealing with scent in pop music. More recently, Jeans for Jesus, a widely known player in the local pop music scene in Switzerland, made an interesting move:

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PRO is the name of a fragrance and the recent music album by Jeans for Jesus. The smart move aims at selling the newly released record together with a perfume. The fragrance PRO is a creation by Niklaus Mettler and was realised in collaboration with designer Gian Gysiger and photographer Anja Schori. Niklaus Mettler is a perfumer and graphic designer who lives in Amsterdam. He works in collaborations with artists from different fields and dedicates his creations to communicate the sensual experience of smell.

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Broader implications: What is interesting about this move?

First, there are several hundred ambitious artisan perfumers that are longing for some effective distributor. Numerous artisan perfumers want to get into the niche market. Just think about the growing number of submissions to the Art and Olfaction Awards in Los Angeles. Niche is certainly a growing segment. Yet, the number of new releases certainly outgrows the number of consumers longing for something special. It is a widely held illusion that anybody is waiting for another artisan perfumer selling some new and interesting creation. There are certainly new discoveries, successful launches or surprising creations. And awards are an effective mechanism to spotlight these achievements. But this success story is even rarer and more exceptional today than a few years ago. At the end of the day, it is up to the artisan perfumer herself to develop a new market, to find a new distribution and to promote the scent among potential consumers etc. In this respect, a pop band is a promising partner. Just do a little google exercise and skim through some of the media coverage. All this coverage is only possible because of the music band – not because of the scent!

Scent enriches our non-digital life

Moreover, a scent is also an interesting move in the music industry. Think about our digital lives. Music is digital. Why buying an album? Why getting to a concert? Why browsing through a physical music store? The scent provides an extra whiff! The scent makes music meaningful beyond our digital lives. It is certainly promising to work on digitalizing scents. Nevertheless it is certainly a lower hanging fruit to think about applications that could benefit from the non-digital qualities of scent.

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Sources & further reading:

Style Magazin, Die Zeit, Swiss Radio, 20 minutes.

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